High-adventure bases of the Boy Scouts of America


High-adventure bases of the Boy Scouts of America

High-adventure bases of the Boy Scouts of America are outdoor recreation facilities located in several locales in North America operated by the Boy Scouts of America at the organization's national level. Each facility offers wilderness programs and training that could include sailing, wilderness canoeing, or wilderness backpacking trips. These bases are administered by the High Adventure Division of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Contents

Philmont Scout Ranch

Entrance sign at Philmont

Philmont Scout Ranch is a mountainous ranch located near the town of Cimarron, New Mexico covering approximately 137,500 acres (556 km2) of wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico.[1] The main part of the ranch, formerly the property of oil baron Waite Phillips was donated in 1938.[2] Along with other donations and purchases, it is currently in use as a national high adventure base where crews of Scouts and Venturers take part in backpacking expeditions and other outdoor activities. It is the largest youth camp in the world by size.[3][4] Philmont's terrain is mountainous, ranging in altitude from 6,500 to 12,441 ft.[5]

Philmont is also home to the Philmont Training Center, which is the main center for BSA's national-level training for volunteers and professionals. In addition to its BSA programs, Philmont continues to operate as a ranch, maintaining a stock of cattle, horses, burros and bison.

Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases

The Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases are a collection of high adventure bases in Minnesota, Ontario, and Manitoba. It is made up of Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base in Ely, Minnesota operating in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Quetico Provincial Park, Don Rogert Canoe Base in Atikokan, Ontario operating in Quetico Provincial Park, and Norther Expeditions Base in Bissett, Manitoba operating in Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park and points beyond.[6] Collectively, it is the oldest national high adventure base operated by the BSA.

Northern Tier offers mostly wilderness canoe trips, although other activities such as cold weather camping exist as well. Typical canoe trips cover 50 to 150 miles (80 to 240 km) and take 6 to 10 days.[7] With each crew is a highly skilled technician/instructor called an "Interpreter".[7]

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base

The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base is a high adventure program base in the Florida Keys. The main Sea Base is located in Islamorada, Florida on the end of Lower Matecumbe Key. Other bases include the Brinton Environmental Center located on Summerland Key (which oversees Big Munson Island located 5.5 miles (8.9 km) southeast) and the Bahamas Sea Base in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas.[8]

Main programs include sailing— including open water and reef sailing —island camping, snorkeling, and SCUBA. The Florida Sea Base Conference Center has become an alternative training site to the Philmont Training Center. Most conferences it hosts are for professionals or national level committees, but it also hosts conferences for outside groups.

Future national bases

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve

Part of The Summit

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve was purchased in 2009 and is being developed as a high adventure base, training center and as the site for the national Scout jamboree. The property consists of a 10,600 acres (43 km2) reclaimed mine site near Beckley, West Virginia. The purchase was enabled by a $50 million grant from Stephen Bechtel, Jr.[9][10]

The Summit is being developed by Arrow WV, a BSA subsidiary. Consol Energy donated $15 million to build a 700 foot (210 m) long bridge to connect the main activity area to the eastern property.[11]

Former national bases

Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base

Region 7 Canoe Base
Region 7 Canoe Base
Location Boulder Junction, Wisconsin
Founded 1940
Defunct 1983
Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base circa 1974

Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base was opened in 1940 on the site of a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp on the south end of the east shore of White Sand Lake in northern Wisconsin.[12] The closest town to that site is Boulder Junction, Wisconsin

The base was originally named MIWI after the initials of the four states in the region. In 1943 it was renamed to Region 7 Canoe Base.[13] The base had also been referenced in publications as Region Seven Explorer Canoe Base. Around 1967 it was renamed to Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base as publications begin referencing the new name during this period.[14]

The primary program was wilderness canoe trips through the lakes and rivers of northern Wisconsin and the southern edge of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The base provided training, outfitting, guiding for these trips as well as sleeping and meal facilities for groups as they prepared to start or end canoe trips. They also provided transportation to and from starting and ending points. Training included an intensive Voyageur course for the youth leader of a group during the week prior to the group's trip.

Canoe trips launched from the base utilized hundreds of different lakes and rivers and about 300 camp sites. About half of these were on public lands, the other were on private lands under special arrangements which typically included maintenance by the Scouts.[15] Examples of closer frequently used waterways include White Sand, Lost Canoe, Pallette, Escanaba, Presque Isle, Crab, Trout and Wild Rice lakes and the Trout River. While the tripping area covered millions of acres, most trips were concentrated in the 400,000-acre (1,600 km2) area going about 12 miles (19 km) north, 10 miles (16 km) east, 18 miles (29 km) west and 10 miles (16 km) south of the base.

The base closed in 1983. Numerous interrelated factors contributed to its demise including lobbying for closure in favor of other bases, declining usage and increased development in the area used for its canoe trips.[citation needed]

Maine National High Adventure Area

The Maine National High Adventure Area was established in 1970 due to the efforts of BSA Scout Executive Bud Jeffrey, Seven Island Lands Company President John Sinclair, and Bill Wadsworth and John Donnell of the BSA National Office. The first of three Maine National High Adventure bases was established at the site of the former Foster’s Matagamon Sporting Camp on the north side of Matagamon Lake, and was called Maine Matagamon National High Adventure Base. This base operated as a single unit in 1971 and 1972. An additional base was established at Pittston Farm on Seboomook Lake in 1973, and a third on Sysladobsis Lake, was operated in 1971 and 1979.

Matagamon and Seboomook bases were the core of the program for many years. It was a highly successful program that exposed thousands of scouts to the lakes, rivers, and mountains of the North Maine woods, providing them with a lifetime appreciation of wild lands, no trace camping, and self sufficiency and safety in the wilderness.[16]

Maine National High Adventure was operated as a national base until 1991, when the National BSA Office shut down the program. In 1993, the Matagamon base reopened as Maine High Adventure,[17][18] an outdoor program run today by the Katahdin Area Council

There is an active staff association called Maine High Adventure Staff Association that is dedicated to the history of the Maine National High Adventure Area, and to the support of the current Maine High Adventure Area.

Land Between the Lakes National Outdoor Adventure Center

The Land Between the Lakes National Outdoor Adventure Center was a regional high adventure base in Kentucky on the shores of Kentucky Lake near Aurora. It opened in 1973 as a cooperative effort between the BSA and the Tennessee Valley Authority and was based on the former Camp Roy C. Manchester, which had opened in 1954. The base offered sailing trips on the 160,000-acre (650 km2) Kentucky Lake. Land Between the Lakes ceased operation as national base in 1983 and the property reverted to Shawnee Trails Council, which now operates the base at a local level, continuing to offer high adventure related facilities for sailing, canoeing, kayaking and U.S. Coast Guard approved sailing training.

Triple Crown of High Adventure Award

The Triple Crown of High Adventure was founded in 1996 and is awarded by the Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association (Northern Tier’s alumni association) in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America. The award honors those Scouts and Scouters who have participated in at least one program at three National High Adventure Bases operated by the Boy Scouts of America. Award recipients receive a special certificate and small award patch.[19]

Alumni Associations

Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.

The Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc. (SAA) is a non-profit Minnesota charity with the purpose to provide a continuing interest in and support for the mission and programs of the Northern Tier National High Adventure program, the Boy Scouts of America’s oldest National High Adventure program.[20]

Objectives include preserving and promoting wilderness camping, high adventure, and training opportunities; spreading the spirit of “The Far Northland” throughout Scouting, and offering the time, talent, and treasure of the its membership to the Northern Tier National High Adventure program.[20] Through its members, it has been instrumental as the first alumni association to launch capital campaigns in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America to enhance high adventure base facilities and establish an endowed seasonal staff scholarship program.[21]

Active membership is open to all persons who have served on the seasonal or permanent staff of any Northern Tier National High Adventure program, including the Charles L. Sommers National High Adventure Base, Donald Rogert Canoe Base (Atikokan, Ontario), Northern Expeditions (Bissett, Manitoba), Northern Wisconsin National Canoe Base, and Maine National High Adventure Base.[22]

Affiliate membership is open to all former adult crew advisors from any Northern Tier National High Adventure program and any adult who wishes to maintain a significant interest in the mission and success of the Northern Tier National High Adventure program.[22]

Philmont Staff Association, Inc.

The Philmont Staff Association, Inc. (PSA) is a non-profit New Mexico charity with the purpose to provide a continued support of Philmont Scout Ranch.

Membership is open to all those who have served on staff at Philmont. In addition to traditional staff positions, membership is also open to those who have served on staff of Autumn Adventure, Kanik, Philmont Training Center, National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC), and National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). The PSA is the only National High Adventure base alumni association that does not offer membership to those who have not served on staff.[23]

Sea Base Alumni and Friends Association, Inc.

The Sea Base Alumni and Friends Association, Inc. (SBAFA) is a non-profit Florida charity with the purpose to provide continued support of Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. Objectives include supporting the staff, programs and interest of Florida Sea Base.[24]

Membership is open to all those with an affiliation to Florida Sea Base, including current staff, former staff, members of the community, volunteers, and past participants.[25]

References

  1. ^ Lawrence R. Murphy, University of New Mexico Press, Philmont, A history of New Mexico's Cimarron Country, ISBN # 0-8263-0438-9
  2. ^ "Philmont Scout Ranch". Boy Scouts of America. http://www.philmontscoutranch.org. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/publications/documents/philmont_scout_ranch.pdf
  4. ^ http://philmontscoutranch.org/Resources/PromotePhilmont/RequestMaterials/QuickFacts.aspx
  5. ^ Rock Rohrbacher, Philmanac, A Treckers Guide to the Philmont Backcountry, CSS Publishing, ISBN # 0-7880-1469-2
  6. ^ "Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases". Boy Scouts of America. http://www.ntier.org/Ntier_Home.html. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Northern Tier website
  8. ^ "Florida National High Adventure Sea Base". Boy Scouts of America. http://www.bsaseabase.org/. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve". Boy Scouts of America. http://scouting.org/100yearspre/100years/SiteFiles/1000/documents/Final_Fact_Sheet.pdf. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Boy Scouts to Bring World-Class Center of Scouting Excellence to West Virginia". Boy Scouts of America. November 18, 2009. http://www.scouting.org/Media/PressReleases/PreviousYears/2009/20091120.aspx. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Consol Energy Funds Boy Scout Bridge in West Virginia". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. May 29, 2010. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_683603.html. 
  12. ^ Richardson, Bruce (June 3, 2008). "Region 7 Canoe Base". http://www.w9fz.com/canoebase/. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ Richardson, Bruce. "History of Region Seven Canoe Base". http://www.w9fz.com/canoebase/page10.html. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  14. ^ Fieldbook (2nd ed.). Boy Scouts of America. 1967. p. 278. ISBN 0-8395-3201-6. 
  15. ^ Region Seven Explorer Canoe Base Guide Book. 1971. 
  16. ^ "Exploring High Adventure". Boys' Life. December 1988. 
  17. ^ "Maine High Adventure". Katahdin Council. http://katahdinareabsa.org/content/4126/Maine_High_Adventure_Base/. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  18. ^ http://www.katahdinareabsa.org/content/4126/Maine_High_Adventure_Base/
  19. ^ "Triple Crown Award". Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association. http://www.holry.org/triplecrownaward.php. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  20. ^ a b http://www.holry.org/about.php
  21. ^ http://www.holry.org/scholarships.php
  22. ^ a b http://www.holry.org/membership.php
  23. ^ http://www.philstaff.com/?page_id=111
  24. ^ http://www.sbafa.org/
  25. ^ http://www.sbafa.org/Membership/MembershipInfo.aspx

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